Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Caramel Kisses-Filled Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I used the recipe for a good, basic banana streusel muffin at In Katrina's Kitchen and added a bunch of goodies. For the first few, I added toffee bits to the batter, but they didn't stay as crunchy as I wanted, so I just topped the rest of them with the toffee instead. 

I had some streusel topping left over, so next time I'll be more generous with that. If you don't like the caramel filled Kisses, you can use whatever kind you like. I always love a surprise inside my treats. And I like these better warm, so I microwave them before eating when they aren't fresh out of the oven. 

Caramel Kisses-Filled Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
4 ripe bananas
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
15 Caramel Kisses candy

5 T. butter, melted
2/3 c. flour
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
Pinch of salt

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1/2 c. toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350⁰ F and lightly grease 15 muffin cups with cooking spray or put cupcake liners in each.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Whip up bananas using a paddle attachment for 3 – 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. It should end up being about 2 1/2 cups of banana fluff. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of the mixer. Add eggs one at a time and then incorporate the whipped bananas until well blended. Mix in vanilla extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Spoon batter into prepared cups.

Melt butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Add the dry ingredients on top. Incorporate the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture is moist and crumbly. Drop the crumb topping onto the muffins.

Top each muffin with the mini chocolate chips and toffee bits, distributing them evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Utah Local: Fran's Roots & Wings

My daughters and I were driving around with no destination and ended up in Heber City. We were on Center Street and we passed this house with a cool trailer that caught my eye. My girls saw a sign and said it seemed like a floral shop, so I had to turn around and go check it out. Sabrina stayed in the car, but Elisa and I went over to it and were quickly greeted by Fran, the business owner.

We got to go inside the trailer. It is beautiful and amazing! See??

Then we went behind the trailer to see succulents and other plants for sale.  
We just happened to stop by during Customer Appreciation Week, so we were treated to delicate lemon lavender cake and a caramel apple cider in this beautiful sitting area. 

When I mentioned that she could have weddings here, she told us that she had a baby shower there before and has more room in the back for weddings. The night before we were there, she had stayed up until 2:00 am putting homemaking corsages together and then woke up at 5:00. 

After we bought a succulent and left, I wished that I had taken a photo of Fran, the business owner and sweet hostess. She was warm and friendly and gave us some tips for plants that we already had. Now I'm buying a turkey baster to water my succulents. 

She gave us her business card, so I looked up the business when I got home. She in an events planner and has photos of some amazing weddings she planned. You can see her beautiful work on her site.

If you'd like to stop by her super cute shop, it's at 684 E. Center Street in Heber. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Fudgy Biscoff Swirl Brownies

Hold me back! These heavenly morsels were sitting there tempting me to eat every last one and they didn't last long at my house. I found this recipe at Taste and Tell, a blog with tons of wonderful recipes. I'm already planning on buying more Biscoff just for this. 

Fudgy Biscoff Swirl Brownies

1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. chocolate chips 
1/2 c. butter
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
1 c. flour
1/2 to 1 c. Creamy Biscoff Spread

Preheat the oven to 325º. Line a 9×13” baking dish with foil or parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Place both sugars in the bowl of a mixer. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and the butter together. Once melted and well mixed, pour the melted chocolate mixture in with the sugars. Mix on low to combine, then add the eggs, vanilla and salt and mix.

Add 1/2 cup of the flour, then mix to combine. Add the remaining cup of flour and mix just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Melt the Biscoff spread in a microwave safe bowl for 15-30 seconds. Pour the spread over the brownie batter in 3 long strips lengthwise. Use a knife to swirl the spread, dragging it the opposite direction.

Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Rolo Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate, caramel and cheesecake! These are easy to make, but still impressive. I couldn't find mini Rolos, so I just bought regular ones and cut them in half. I also topped the pieces with a half of one. I found this recipe at Hugs & Cookies.

Rolo Cheesecake Bars

3 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter, melted

2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
¼ c. flour
8 oz. Rolo minis, unwrapped

1/2 c. butter
6 oz. chocolate chips
4 t. light corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350°. Stir all crust ingredients together and press into a 9x13-inch pan lined with nonstick foil. 
Bake for 7-10 minutes and cool. 
For filling, beat cream cheese. Once smooth, add sugar and mix. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in Rolos. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Place in refrigerator to chill.
For the glaze, melt butter and chocolate chips.Stir in corn syrup. Pour over chilled bars and refrigerate overnight.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Blueberry Cheesecake Crumb Cake

Bursting blueberries in every bite! I made this coffee cake that I found on Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts (even though it's not a chocolate dessert). I baked it a little longer than I should have and the crust was crunchy when I served it the day after making it, but the day after that it had softened. I'm bummed that I forgot to drizzle it with the glaze since it would have been prettier. 

Blueberry Cheesecake Crumb Cake

Crumb Cake:

3 1/3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
½ c. cold butter, cut in cubes
Grated zest from 1 lemon (optional)
1/3 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Blueberry Cheesecake Filling:

8 oz. mascarpone
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ c. + 2 T. caster sugar
2 T. corn starch
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 2/3 c. blueberries


½ c. powdered sugar
2-3  t. milk

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper, spray bottom and sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, sugar and lemon zest. Add butter to dry ingredients mixture. Using mixer or hands, mix it until it’s grainy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. The mixture should be crumbly. Press about 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom and side (about 1 ½ inch height) of the pan. Place the pan and remaining crumbs in the fridge.

To make the filling mix together cream cheese, mascarpone, vanilla, sugar and corn starch just to combine. Add eggs and mix just to combine, being careful not to over-mix.

Pour half of the cheesecake mixture in chilled crust. Scatter about 2/3 cup of blueberries over the filling. Spread remaining cheesecake mixture. Top with blueberries and remaining crumbs.

Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 65-75 minutes. If it starts browning too much, tent the top with aluminum foil.

Make the glaze by stirring together powdered sugar and milk or cream. If it’s too thin, add powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add more milk. Drizzle on cooled crumb cake. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Overnight refrigeration is ideal.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Philly Cheesesteak Cups

I threw this together for a simple meal. It would make a great appetizer or party food too. I love how easy using frozen puff pastry is. I found this recipe on High Heels and Grills

Philly Cheesesteak Cups
1 lb. rib eye steak thinly sliced
1 T. olive oil
1/2 med. onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 c. mushroom chopped
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
1/3 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. milk
1 pkg. puff pastry thawed
1/2 c. provolone cheese grated

Preheat your oven to 400°.

Pour olive oil into warm skillet, add chopped onion and peppers. Sautè on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sautè for another 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Cook beef, stirring frequently for about a minute or two. The meat is thinly sliced enough that it only takes about a minute to cook through. Immediately add the pepper mixture back to the skillet with the beef. Add seasonings, cream, and milk. Bring to a light boil, stirring constantly just until thickened. Remove from heat.

Spray each cup in a muffin pan with non-stick. Place about a 3-4 inch square of pastry dough in each muffin cup. Add about 1/4 cup of cheesesteak mix to each cup.

Bake for about 10 minutes. Place a small bunch of provolone cheese on each cheesesteak cup and continue to bake for another 3 minutes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Utah Local: Rico Cocina y Tequila Bar

I wanted to find somewhere different to have dinner with my children, but it had to have food that all of them would eat. It's not easy to find a restaurant like that by just driving around and stopping somewhere due to one picky child (who is a teenager). I also wanted a fun atmosphere. I showed them the online menu at Rico Cocina y Tequila Bar and they all said they'd eat something there, so away we went.

We drove around the warehouses and old buildings in the area near Kilby Court and Ruby Snap Cookies and arrived at Rico Cocina at 545 W. 700 S in Salt Lake City.  It was easy to spot the colorful outdoor patio area, the sign and the cool, old painted truck in the front.

This used to be Frida Bistro, but this new restaurant has lower prices than they used to. Prices and descriptions of menu items are on their website. We love chips and salsa, but at $10, we didn't order them. 

Alex ordered Pollo Rebosado en Salsa de Cacahaute, chicken stuffed with cream cheese in a peanut butter and guajillo pasilla sauce for $16. I got to try some. It was a bit bland for my taste, but sure made a pretty presentation.
My picky daughter ordered a Carne Asada Burrito, $12, without the sauce that it usually comes smothered in. She decided that was probably a mistake since it needed "rice or sauce or something", which is why it comes with sauce normally, I'm sure.
My other daughter and I shared the Carne Asada Alambre plate, $16. It said it came with rice, but I forgot that when it was served without it. I even mentioned to my kids that I would have liked it with rice. Even without it, it was really good, and I don't say that about just anything. The grilled beef was tender and flavorful. I usually try something different every time I go back to a restaurant, but I liked this one so much that I might have to order it again. My daughter liked it too, and so did my son, who ended up eating what we didn't. 
A couple of the other plates that looked good to me are the Enchilada de Pollo con Salsa de Achiote y Mangos $13 and the Quesadilla de Huitlacoche $12. They also have vegetarian and vegan entrees on the menu.

The walls are painted different colors and there are lots of fun pieces of art on the walls and everywhere.

There was a glass door from inside the restaurant to another connected building. It was made to look like different houses in different colors. I asked what it was and the waitress said that it's the warehouse where they make the Rico chips and other products that they sell. Awesome looking warehouse! I wanted to go in and explore, but it's not for customers.

I thought this sign outside the warehouse was funny.

Caramel Kisses-Filled Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I used the recipe for a good, basic banana streusel muffin at  In Katrina's Kitchen  and added a bunch of goodies. For the first few, I...